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Unlike other media free zones, Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 is an ecosystem for thriving entrepreneurs. It connects aspiring businesses with accelerators to scale their businesses, supports the country’s GDP and makes a positive effort to combat the current figures of unemployment.
A recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says that for each Dh1 that twofour54 invests in bringing film sets to the UAE, the country’s GDP gets Dh4.5 directly through airline tickets, hotels and diners, among others, that the cast and crew use. Another PwC report projected that Abu Dhabi would get 300,000 tourists annually by 2020 simply by the awareness of film sets.
Thus, twofour54 provides creative entrepreneurs and freelancers an opportunity to focus on their business rather than on setting up an office by offering different kinds of office or work spaces. These range from 10 to 50 square metres, white label/fitted-out or core and shell offices starting from 300 square metres, to hot desks and single workstations.
The media zone has state-of-the-art filming facilities, locations and talent for any kind of national or international films with other modern amenities. The cost of renting the facilities differs on the duration and the kind of facilities rented.
Last year, a Cairo-based company tied up with twofour54 to help media startups get a seed funding worth $30,000 to $50,000 in return for an equity stake between 10 and 20 per cent in each startup.
The free zone also announced new schemes aimed at supporting small and medium enterprises. One scheme allows Emirati entrepreneurs to obtain a licence, two staff visas and operational support without renting an office. Another scheme offers a business centre facility where workstations could be shared on a shift basis.
Currently, twofour54 also offers expatriate freelancers a six or 12-month sole proprietorship licence.
• Media zone twofour54 offers offices, hot desks and workstations
• Emiratis can get a licence from the zone without renting an office
• Expat freelancers can also get a licence that is valid up to one year
Source: Arva Shikari, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer